Jul 29, 2014

Matthew O'Connell, Holmdel HS Alum and Noted Scholar, Dies at 41

O'Connell was a Holmdel resident his entire life, and an honored scholar athlete.

Matthew O'Connell, Holmdel HS Alum and Noted Scholar, Dies at 41

Matthew Stephen O'Connell, Esq. of Hoboken and Holmdel, N.J. died on Monday, Jan. 7, 2013 after a courageous battle with leukemia. He was 41.

Matthew was born in Glen Ridge and moved to Holmdel with his family when he was three years old. He attended the Holmdel schools from kindergarten though twelfth grade, graduating in 1989. During his school years, Matthew distinguished himself in athletics and academics. He was a member of the Holmdel High School Football team and participated in track and field events, setting an indoor record for shotput. He was also a member of Scout Troop 131 where he earned the rank of Eagle Scout.

His academic record resulted in his being named one of five scholar athletes from Monmouth County by the Red Bank Register. He was a National Merit Scholar, and belonged to several honor societies. Following high school, Matthew attended the University of Pennsylvania where he earned his Bachelors Degree in Political Science and a Masters Degree in Regional Science.

His love of football followed him to college, where he proudly wore number 92 for the Penn Quaker football team. He graduated in 1993. After a brief period of employment for Princeton Economic Research Co., Matthew moved to Washington, D.C where he attended Georgetown Law School.

While at Georgetown, he worked on the law journal and as a volunteer tutor in the law school writing center. After receiving a J.D., Matthew returned to work as a clerk for Justice Marie Garibaldi of the New Jersey Supreme Court. When his clerkship ended Matthew went to work for Kaye Scholer, a New York law firm. At the time of his illness, he was employed by Gibbons P.C. a New Jersey based company. Matthew loved being a lawyer and had the greatest respect for his colleagues in the profession.

Matthew leaves behind his loving parents, Eleanor and Stephen O'Connell; his brother, David O'Connell, David's wife Alexis, his nephew Liam, and his nieces Kate and Eiley. He is also survived by his maternal grandmother, Jean Watson of Somerset; his godmother and aunt, Sheila Amrich, and an extended family of aunts, uncles, and cousins. Mr. O'Connell was fortunate in his lifetime to have a large circle of friends who gave him support during his illness. Everyone who knew Matthew will remember him as an intelligent young man with a great sense of humor, who lived his life according to his values: Honesty, Trust, Loyalty and Kindness.

Visitation was held at the Holmdel Funeral Home 26 - South Holmdel Road, Holmdel, NJ. Interment followed at Holmdel Cemetery.

There will also be a gathering in Hoboken, N.J. celebrating Matthew's life on Saturday, Jan. 19 at a time and place to be announced.

For directions to the Funeral Home, or to post an online condolence for the O'Connell family please visit www.holmdelfuneralhome.com

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